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In business, becoming consumed by the ‘smaller details’ is easy.  Understanding this panoramic picture with Jeweller's 2024 State of the Industry report will help you plan for the future.
In business, becoming consumed by the ‘smaller details’ is easy. Understanding this panoramic picture with Jeweller's 2024 State of the Industry report will help you plan for the future.

A picture of yesterday, today, and tomorrow

It has been said that ‘details create the bigger picture’. ANGELA HAN offers a sneak peek into Jeweller’s most significant issue of the decade, published next month.

This year has come and gone in the blink of an eye – it feels like I was buying a 2023 calendar only yesterday, and this week I bought one for 2024! What’s that say about life not being a line but a flat circle?

The good news is that as far as Jeweller is concerned, the end of another year means the best is yet to come.

For the past six months, we’ve worked hard on a State of the Industry Report (SOIR), which will be published in December.

The findings will surprise most people and answer some big questions about the Australian jewellery industry. Here are a few to get you thinking:

  • How many independent jewellers are there in Australia in 2023?
  • How have jewellery chain stores grown and evolved in the past decade?
  • What’s in store for the jewellery industry in 2030?

Our first SOIR was published in December 2010 – and while we intended to provide a comprehensive update 10 years later, COVID-19 put a stop to that.

Not only was the world in turmoil but conducting an analysis during a global pandemic where businesses were closing on a daily bias would have made little sense, let alone produce meaningful results.

Over 20 years in the making

Even before the pandemic, we knew that the Australian jewellery industry had undergone enormous evolution, as it had in the decade before our 2010 edition.

Indeed, long-time readers of Jeweller would be aware that our research predating 2010 sought to investigate many claims, including the suggestion that chain stores were overrunning independent jewellery stores.

At the time, commentators often pointed to other retail categories where chain and ‘big box’ retailers had all but ‘obliterated’ small retailers, such as hardware, sports, video and music stores.

About 15 years ago, the fear was that the same thing was happening to family-owned independent jewellers; however, our research dispelled this myth.

We even compared the total number of jewellery stores – fine and fashion, chain and independent – against Australia’s state-by-state population. It was fascinating.

Another Jeweller study in 2003 reviewed the number of jewellers in the major shopping centres of Australia’s capital cities. The report, ‘Too many jewellery stores?’, surprised many industry experts, including landlords.

We have revisited that 2003 study 20 years later, and the insights are bound to make you think!

Yesterday, today and tomorrow: the snapshot

Interestingly, the 2010 SOIR was published against the backdrop of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, which had shaken the international economy. Compare that to our upcoming edition, which also comes during great turbulence in the jewellery industry in Australia and worldwide.

"Even before the pandemic, we knew that the Australian jewellery industry had undergone enormous evolution, as it had in the decade before our 2010 edition."

The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to have a devastating impact on the diamond trade, while lab-created diamonds are increasing in popularity with consumers as the cost of production plummets.

Everyone is dealing with inflation and cost of living pressures, particularly post-COVID, and research recently published by the Australian Retail Association revealed that 55 per cent of small to medium-sized retailers are concerned or uncertain about the financial future of their business.

That is without mentioning the many other issues facing Australian retailers and the international jewellery industry.

Against all odds, the jewellery industry managed to survive the challenges of the 2000s – and I assure you, the figures in Jeweller’s upcoming report tell another fascinating story. 

How big are we talking?

The initial SOIR in 2010 presented a panoramic view of the Australian jewellery industry. It delineated important distinctions within the industry – for example, creating definitions for flagship, brand-only, and fashion chain stores.

This year’s report will also provide updated information on similar topics; however, it has become necessary to update our definitions to reflect the evolution of and changes in the industry.

Any research of significant magnitude must be conducted using a methodical analysis, including establishing clear definitions. That is, to measure something, you must first define it - how can you measure and compare something that is undefined?

Therefore, in 2010, we found that Australian consumers were serviced by a total of 4,224 businesses selling fine or fashion jewellery and watches.

But how about in 2023? What does the ‘big picture’ of the industry look like today?

Jeweller will publish revised figures on the total number of independent retailers and chain stores, as well as showing how the brand-only stores have evolved. Of course, there will be an analysis of the buying groups too.

Additionally, experts will share insights on pressing matters, including the genuine significance of provenance and 'sustainability' for consumers, a 2030 forecast for the retail industry, and a retrospective look at the changes since our 2010 report.

You’re the voice of the industry

While compiling the report, we conducted an industry survey, delving into some critical issues within the trade. The survey consisted of only 10 questions, but they provided an enthralling and powerful statement on the state of the industry.

In business, becoming consumed by the ‘smaller details’ is easy. Understanding this bigger picture will help you plan for the future.

Here’s the first question, where retailers were asked to agree or disagree with this statement: My business is now more profitable than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The result is most intriguing, especially when coupled with other data.

In business, becoming consumed by the ‘smaller details’ is easy. This is particularly true in retail, where it’s common for business owners and managers to become overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of day-to-day responsibilities.

Understanding this bigger picture will help you plan for the future. Indeed, our report provides information that many people will find confronting - and some will attempt to deny - however, when faced with challenges, it’s always best to be armed.

 

More reading:
What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other word, would smell as sweet.
We cannot direct the wind - but we can adjust the sails
Gratitude is an attitude – so don’t forget to say thanks
Don’t wait for the storm to pass,  learn to dance in the rain
When the window of opportunity opens,  don’t pull down the shade
One part water, one part soil and sharp scissors

 

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